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NYC snow problems were no accident

By now you've probably read numerous reports about snow-jammed streets in New York City, or heard Mayor Bloomberg's apology for the awful mess in the city, or watched the video (NSFW language) of NYC workers demolishing a parked SUV while trying to extract a front-end bucket loader stuck in the snow. 

Well guess what?  It wasn't inefficiency or lack of manpower that caused the problems with citywide snow removal.  According to the New York Post, it was a group of vindictive city sanitation workers:

Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts -- a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.

Miles of roads stretching from as north as Whitestone, Queens, to the south shore of Staten Island still remained treacherously unplowed last night because of the shameless job action, several sources and a city lawmaker said, which was over a raft of demotions, attrition and budget cuts.

The snitches "didn't want to be identified because they were afraid of retaliation," Halloran said. "They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file."

New York's Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process -- and pad overtime checks -- which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes, the sources said.

The snow-removal snitches said they were told to keep their plows off most streets and to wait for orders before attacking the accumulating piles of snow.

Here's a thought.  If NYC needs to thin its workforce in order to save money, they should start with the bastards who ordered this.  Public employees charged with ensuring public safety have no excuse to order their subordinates stop working.  None.  These people are a disgrace, just like the hundreds of New Orleans police officers who deserted the city in the wake of the Katrina flood.

When unionized federal air traffic controllers walked off the job in 1981 in order to pressure the government into giving them more generous salary and benefits packages, president Ronald Reagan did the right thing -- he fired their sorry assesPeople died in New York City because emergency responders couldn't get through the ice and snow-clogged streets.  Let's hope that Mayor Bloomberg does the right thing and sends the right message to the sanitation department -- if you interfere with the welfare of our citizens, you're through.


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Comments (13)

Sounds like possible mansla... (Below threshold)

Sounds like possible manslaughter charges should be brought.

Hasn't Bloomberg's war on s... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

Hasn't Bloomberg's war on salt in food saved enough of the stuff to take care of the roads in NYC?

"Let's hope that Mayor Bloo... (Below threshold)

"Let's hope that Mayor Bloomberg does the right thing"

I'll believe it when I see it.

Or as Barry has said, "I don't make a move without talking to Andy Stern."

The only way Bloomberg will... (Below threshold)

The only way Bloomberg will do anything, is if he finds out the Sanitation Dept is putting salt on their trans-fat potato chips.

Why doesn't this surprise a... (Below threshold)

Why doesn't this surprise anyone?

Selfish union scumbags.

Let me rephrase that....</p... (Below threshold)

Let me rephrase that....

"Selfish Govt. employee scumbags"

Time to sack the entire uni... (Below threshold)

Time to sack the entire union and revoke their pension. Then prosecute them for criminal negligence and then let the civil lawsuits begin.

Kill the union, then squeeze every dime they have, and send the members packing.

The real political irony he... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

The real political irony here is that so many New Yorkers have been numbed down to a level of such abject ignorance and stupidity, even people whose relatives literally were killed by this union-orchestrated stunt will in 2012 mindlessly cast their votes for Obama, who just so happens to be the most pro-union president ever.

Oh c'mon -Everyone... (Below threshold)

Oh c'mon -

Everyone knows that unions are there to protect the little man ... as long as the little man is in the union too, everyone else can pound snow.

While I'm loathe to bring u... (Below threshold)

While I'm loathe to bring up lawsuits as a first step, I believe that anyone harmed by the action of these a$$es should bring lawsuits against the union and if possible those individuals that told the workers to not plow. Hit them in the pocketbook they were planning to pad with their ridiculous, petulant actions against the city.

I do think that criminal ch... (Below threshold)

I do think that criminal charges are in order. But since bloomie is owned by the public unions, it ain't going to happen.
However, action by Vigilance Committees should be under serious consideration.
That being said the families of those who perished should begin legal proceedings against the city, sanitation department and the union.
Sue their asses off. Bloomie will have to find a new job with this tactic.

.... Let's hope that Mayor ... (Below threshold)

.... Let's hope that Mayor Bloomberg does the Right thing ....

That'll be a first.

Bloomberg's one of them.

The premise of this story m... (Below threshold)

The premise of this story makes no sense. It seems highly unlikely that those supervisors who were not busted down to a lower rank would be ordering their workers to do something that, if it were proven, would for sure result in those very same supervisors losing their jobs. I don't think they would be willing to take that kind of risk.

Job security is not high enough for that kind of risk. If someone did actually make those accusations, it was probably someone who was angry at being busted out of being a supervisor, and resentful enough to make up a lie to retaliate against those who were lucky enough to keep a position of supervisor.

More important, job security is not high enough to have it make sense that someone would "anonymously" report that behavior and feel sure that no one would know who did it.

Also, would workers have been trying so hard to free that plow that ended up damaging a car if they were not trying to work as fast as possible? A stuck plow could have been a great excuse to slow things down. And that picture of a worker asleep in his plow -- who would choose to sleep in a snow plow where everyone could see him? That picture is not proof of loafing off -- it is proof of total exhaustion!

On the whole, this story does not hang together. A job action is not an effective job action if it is secret. It isn't a threat to the city if it is secret. Sanitation supervisors on the list to be busted down to non-supervisory positions had nothing to gain from a secret job action, and a lot to lose.

On the other hand, Halloran has a lot to gain and nothing to lose. No one can follow up and check on these complaints when they are "anonymous." These reports are not anonymous -- they are imaginary. Halloran is trying to blame the fellows who were out there working around the clock in the cold so he can shift the responsibility for poor decisions at the top onto them.






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